By Mary BASSEY, Senior Investigator Correspondent Lagos/
LAGOS– IN line with the Chief of Naval Staff’s policy to secure the nation’s maritime domain, the Nigerian Navy Ship NNS BEECROFT has intensified its offensive against sea criminals and sundry crimes.
Addressing newsmen Tuesday at the base, the Commanding officer, Rear Admiral Bashir Mohammed said his men intercepted some foreigners on board a wooden boat during the yuletide with 261 bags of dried weeds suspected to be cannabis, 431 bags of foreign rice and some petroleum products. Rear Admiral Mohammed was represented by the base Operations Officer, Lieutenant Commander Adetayo Yusuf Adesokan.
The base information officer, Lieutenant E. Ephraim in release, quoted Rear Admiral Mohammed as saying aside the last year’s arrest and interception, “The Command in a similar development, at about 18.48hrs on Friday 14 January 2022 Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) LANA while on patrol, intercepted twenty (20) foreigners and two wooden boats laden with two Hundred and sixty-eight (268) bags of cannabis.”
Lt. Ephraim added, “Further search on the boat revealed that the boat was laden with 268 bags of Cannabis worth over 120 million Naira, 3 drums of AGO each containing 200
litres and 11 phones.
“The Commander NNS BEECROFT, Rear Admiral Bashir
Mohammed revealed that the arrest will send a message to
criminals of the Nigerian Navy’s resolve of zero-tolerance to illegalities.
“He added that the trend of foreigners from neighbouring countries infiltrating our maritime space with contraband is worrisome.
“Rear Admiral Mohammed disclosed that in the last 4 months about 81 foreigners have being arrested for various crimes such as smuggling of cocaine, marijuana, rice and petroleum products.”
Continuing, Lt. Ephraim said,”In the same vein, on Friday 21 January 2022 at about 1000, the Base patrol team arrested 7 stowaways onboard MV CHESAPEAKE BAY at Tincan Island jetty, Apapa.
“The arrested suspects revealed that they boarded the vessel through the rudder compartment of the vessel with the intention to travel to Germany.
This arrest puts the figure of stowaways arrested by NNS BEECROFT in the last 4 months
“Rear Admiral Mohammed added that the Canabis and arrested suspects will be handed over to NDLEA and the stowaways will be handed over to the Nigerian
“In furtherance, he commended the ships of the Western Fleet for
their commitment and unalloyed loyalty in living up to the assigned responsibility
of the Western Naval Command. He reassured Nigerians of the Chief of Naval Staff’s commitment towards sustaining her constitutional roles which includes curbing illegalities within Nigeria’s Maritime domain thereby boosting national prosperity.”